The golden hills of the well-paid trendy people are indeed a very special place. Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers owns a Music Conservatory here, everything smells like skunk, and there’s a foot clinic with a swiveling picture sign of a happy foot/sad foot that holds immense local superstition. Silver Lake is weird. And up until about a decade ago, it was also a complete and utter food desert.
Luckily, those dark days are well behind us and Silver Lake is overflowing with fantastic restaurants. Here’s our complete list of them.
Daw Yee’s cutesy interior looks like a Pinterest bomb went off in it, but don’t let that fool you - this place is serving some top-notch Burmese food. Whether you’re new to the cuisine or an expert on it, there’s something for everybody in this bright, casual cafe, and the waitstaff couldn’t be happier to make sure you order correctly. We’ll help you too - order the Ohnoh noodles.
Yes, we’re aware Salazar is in Frogtown and not the adjacent Silverlake, but you should probably drive the extra two minutes for it. This fully-outdoor Mexican BBQ spot is one of our favorite restaurants in the city. With long communal tables, a walk-up bar, and a big window where you can watch them make those ridiculously good tortillas, Salazar feels like you’re on vacation. A vacation you’ll never want to end.
The people behind Forage over on Sunset took over a beautiful old bungalow and made it into a place the whole neighborhood can frankly get behind. With everything from patatas bravas to Korean fried chicken, the Wolfdown menu is certainly wide-ranging, but at the end of the day the food is good. If you’re looking for a new spot when the weather gets warm, Wolfdown’s back patio is where you should head.
All wine bars are the same, right? Wrong. Same Same happens to serve really excellent Thai food too. Located in a no-name stripmall along Sunset, Same Same has a solid wine list (the goes great with spicy food), a lively space full of people who aren’t whispering in the corners, and a Khao Soi you’ll dream about for days afterwards.
Kettle Black is that neighborhood Italian spot that’s always there when you need it. Located right on the Silver Lake main drag, it’s ideal for a quick glass of wine and a bowl of pasta by yourself, a Saturday night date, or a midweek dinner when the parents drive in to see you. The menu reads like an Italian greatest hits list - there’s plenty of pizza, delicious meatballs, a bolognese, and an eggplant that has no reason being as good as it is. We’re glad to have you, Kettle Black.
At first glance, there’s nothing particularly special about Fat Dragon. The casual, order-at-the-counter Chinese spot seems pretty by the books, but then you realize this is the kind of place every neighborhood in LA should have, but doesn’t. Excellent food (get the eggplant and spicy wontons), affordable prices, and efficient service to get you back on your couch in no time. The rest of LA should be very jealous.
The second location of the massively popular Thai joint might not have the party vibes and beer towers like its original Sunset Strip locale, but its kitschy feel is the perfect match for Silver Lake. This is some of the finest Thai food in the city, in a casual setting suited for almost anything. Crowds can get crazy.
L & E is one of those places you pass in your car with friends and everybody stops and says, “Wait, what the f*ck is that?!” The two-story neighborhood oyster bar looks like it was pulled straight out of a Woody Allen movie, with a big, beautiful space and people who look like well-placed extras, all having a good time. There’s not a better spot in Silver Lake to grab some fresh oysters, a couple glasses of wine, and enjoy some of the best vibes in town.
Still one of the best restaurants in Silver Lake that nobody knows about, Bowery Bungalow is serving up excellent North African/Mediterranean fusion in a refurbished bungalow space. Its casual setting is the perfect place to come in with friends and have some fun on the back patio, and intimate enough for some date night action.
Alimento is the tiny neighborhood Italian spot where you take your parents to prove how far you’ve come. That’s not to say it’s wildly expensive either – it’s actually somewhat reasonable. The space is stark and modern, and the food is truly impressive. Alimento is no one’s weekly haunt, but it is one massive feather in Silver Lake’s culinary cap.
When the Cliff’s Edge chef left to run a big restaurant in a downtown skyscraper, everybody assumed the Eastside’s best restaurant had officially run its course. Update: It’s doing just fine. The food isn’t at the level it was a few years ago, but it’s still very good (the octopus is excellent) and a bit more casual than you remember. The cocktail situation is solid, the service hasn’t slipped, and that African treehouse escape they call a back patio? It hasn’t changed a bit.
Technically located in East Hollywood, AKA Silverlake’s extension, this former preserves company rocked the entire Eastside psyche with their healthy and actually-satisfying breakfast/brunch menu. Only open till 4pm everyday, you have to go to this order-at-the-counter cafe already at peace with how long you’ll be waiting in line, but we promise the food’s worth it.
Trois Familia opened up to a torrent of hype unlike anything the neighborhood had seen. But now that the hour-long lines and heated debates about whether French/Mexican fusion is a thing that works has subsided, the tiny stripmall spot has settled into existence as the casual brunch spot it was meant to be. You’re going to order the beet tartare and the churro French toast and the double-decker tacos, and you’re going to walk away very happy.
Most people come to Red Lion Tavern solely to drink and we don’t blame them for it. Their back patio beer garden is an Eastside treasure and always worthy of a beer boot or two or three with friends. Just don’t forget about their food. The gigantic sausage platter is a no-brainer for big groups and we’re definitely not mad about their chicken schnitzel either.
Sure, the lines at this massively popular ramen spot border on ridiculous, but stay strong friends. The ramen inside holds up with some of the best in the city and you can do take-out. Seriously, PLEASE DO TAKE-OUT. It tastes just as good on your couch and you get an extra couple hours tacked on to your Netflix binge.
This dime-sized taco stand along Sunset Blvd. might not seem like much but it is your best bet for dirt-cheap, no-frills Mexican food in Silver Lake. While pretty much everything at this walk-up window is solid, we can go on record saying that the chorizo and egg breakfast burrito has saved our lives on multiple Sunday mornings.
Blair’s wins the award for being one of the few places in Silver Lake that’s actually full of people who live in Silver Lake. The brick-walled and white table-clothed American bistro does tend to run on the pricier side, but that doesn’t stop Silver Lake from filling the place up each night. They know they’ll still be served one of the most dependable meals in the neighborhood.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Silver Lake has a brunch spot in a former fire station, so let’s just get to the rest: Edendale is good for anything. It has a casual front patio with great vibes and an interior where some serious drinking goes down. The American comfort food is good and the late-night menu is a potential lifesaver.